Technology Tip of the Month
October, 1996: Creating Holiday Lessons
by Deborah Healey and Deborah Kohler
In many countries, it's the beginning of the holiday season.
Teachers interested in adding Internet-based holiday activities to their
have a number of choices.
Some ready-made ESL/EFL lessons for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Martin
King, Jr. Day, Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Passover,
Easter, and Memorial Day
are available at Suzan Moody's Holidays Web site at the University of Kansas:
Suzan offers several options for teachers and students to use the Web for
holiday activities. Halloween, for
example, includes visiting a virtual haunted house, sending electronic
postcards, doing a Halloween word search, and reading about Halloween.
Do be aware that most of the Halloween sites use a lot of images, so
will be slow.
The key to successful use of instructional technology, of course, is its
integration into the curriculum. A reading about Halloween by itself is
not nearly as useful as one where the teacher introduces
unfamiliar vocabulary, sets a task, and does follow-up activities in class.
Here are some suggestions for using the Halloween material in class:
(Click on the pictures to see them in a larger size. Click on Back to return to this page from the
trick or treat
| haunted house|
Discuss what people are afraid of; (where culturally appropriate)
what happens after people die.
Computer-preparation: remind students to wait until the files are
completely loaded before clicking anywhere. On Netscape, the stars at the
top right corner will stop moving. On Internet Explorer, the globe will
- (low intermediate-advanced) Visit the virtual haunted house.
notes on what you see.
- (low intermediate-advanced) Choose the Halloween Postcards.
When it is finished loading, click on each card to make it bigger. You'll
see old-fashioned Halloween postcards from almost 100 years ago! Write a
Halloween postcard to a friend describing the haunted house.
- (low intermediate-advanced) Plan a Halloween party; write
invitations describing the frightening things you will see and do.
Use a spreadsheet to do a budget for the party.
- (intermediate) Choose one of the Halloween Wordsearch Puzzles.
Print out the puzzle to do off the computer. Compare your answers with
those of a friend.
- (intermediate to advanced) Go to the Haunted House and click on
need to print out the list, give the appropriate part of speech, then
fill in the blanks on paper. This is good practice with parts of speech.
Make sure you share the results!
- (advanced) Read a ghost story.
- (advanced) Do an Internet search for Druids; read about their possible
connection to Halloween.
- Discuss whether you have a holiday like Halloween; the strangest thing
you saw; and what you would wear to go trick-or-treating.
- Write a ghost story and illustrate it.
- Describe and draw the costume you would wear to a Halloween party.
- Summarize a ghost story for the class.
- Learn and tell a ghost story, using as many of the vocabulary items
above as possible.
If you have questions, comments, or for more information,
contact Deborah Healey, dhealey AT uoregon DOT edu
updated 26 June, 2009